Copyright (c) 2006 The John Marshall Law School
The John Marshall Law Review
ARTICLE: HURRICANE KATRINA AND THE TOXIC TORTS IMPLICATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL INJUSTICE IN NEW ORLEANS
40 J. Marshall L. Rev. 1
L. Darnell Weeden*
The recent damage to lives and property in New Orleans would not have happened but for Hurricane Katrina's unwelcome visit to that city. The hurricane and its aftermath have tremendous implications for general tort law. 1 The English word "tort" is derived from the French word "tort," which is defined as a harm or wrong. 2 A tort consists of a civil wrong that is not a breach of contract, and is granted a remedy under the law. 3 A basic principle of tort law is that every person owes a duty to others to function in a way that does not cause harm to another. 4 When one breaches that duty, one could be liable for monetary damages if an individual injured as a result of the tort chooses to file a lawsuit. 5
This article will discuss a body of law that has been identified as the law of toxic torts. One commentator describes toxic tort law as a modification of traditional tort law; it addresses the hazardous community or workplace conditions resulting from the manufacture and use of toxic substances. 6 Toxic tort law differs from state to state because state legislatures and courts adopt rules unique to each state. This can create a lack of uniformity in providing plaintiffs with an appropriate remedy for harm suffered. 7
Part I of this article will describe the extent of compensatory damages available in toxic tort litigation. Part II will discuss the environmental justice undertone of ...
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